Eating at Hmongtown Marketplace, November 2022 (St. Paul, MN)

In mid-November I posted looks at the greenmarket and the food court at Hmong Village in St. Paul. That outing was with a few friends, sans the family. Here now is an account of a visit with the family to the OG Hmong market and food court, Hmongtown Marketplace. I’ve reported on visits there before, in 2014 and 2018. I didn’t mean to go four years between reports—it just sort of happened. Well, we enjoyed our meal enough that it’s more than likely that we’ll be back in far less than four years. I’m pleased to report that while many things have changed at Hmongtown Marketplace, it has nonetheless remained more or less the same; and it remain an essential Twin Cities institution—one that anyone interested in broadening their sense of what it means to be Minnesotan, or just anyone interested in Hmong food, should be familiar with. Continue reading

Eating at Hmong Village, November 2022 (St. Paul, MN)

On Sunday I posted a look at the green market in Hmong Village, one of the two major Hmong markets/food court complexes in St. Paul—Hmongtown Marketplace being the other. I was there—sans the family—with some friends and, as much as I like the green market there, lunch is the primary reason we were there. My friends had not been there before and so it was also an opportunity to introduce them to the pleasures of the food court. We got there around 1 pm on Saturday, and after some adventures in the parking lot we entered the building and made our way through the maze of the shops and stalls to find the food court buzzing. Continue reading

Hmongtown Marketplace: Food

This is my second account of eating at Hmongtown Marketplace. I posted the previous three and a half years ago. If you’re interested in finding out a bit more about the demographics of the Hmong in Minnesota, and also in a bit of description of the market as a whole, please take a look at that post—I won’t repeat it here. We went back this past weekend with a friend in town from India. She’s a documentary film-maker and when I offered her a list of Twin Cities food experiences she might be interested in, this was at the top of her list. It had been a couple of years since our last visit, and I was curious to see what the condition of the market would be—given the success of the larger and relatively shinier Hmong Village, a bit further north in St. Paul. Well, I was glad to see that they’re still thriving.  Continue reading

Hmong Village (St. Paul)

Hmong Village: Pork Uterus
About two years ago I wrote up Hmongtown Marketplace in St. Paul, the mainstay of the Hmong combo food court/market scene. Here finally is a writeup of their main competition, the newer, larger and (relatively) flashier Hmong Village, further north in St. Paul. A number of people have been recommending it to me for a while but inertia and a slightly shorter driving distance had kept us going back to Hmongtown Marketplace. Well, now that I’ve been to both I can report that the differences are almost entirely of ambience—the food court at Hmong Village is less hectic and the vegetable market is enclosed. This latter fact makes it less charming in the summer—which is when we visited (in early August)—but I am sure renders it much more user-friendly for the 17 months of winter (which are almost upon us).  Continue reading

Hmongtown Marketplace


I know what my all but non-existent Minnesota readership is thinking: finally, someone’s gotten around to reviewing this Twin Cities mainstay! But you should really curb that cruel sarcastic impulse and bear in mind that I did not have a blog till just over 18 months ago and only got around to reviewing restaurants regularly this summer. So, here it is, only seven years or so too late: your review of the food court at Hmongtown Marketplace. Any week now you can expect a detailed breakdown of a Jucy Lucy at Matt’s.

I am embarrassed to say that despite having lived in the general area for more than seven years now I’ve not really made too much of an attempt to explore the Hmong food scene. In my defense this is largely because we happened very early on Hmongtown Marketplace in St. Paul and didn’t really feel the need to branch out. Continue reading